Mandi Bierly
June 01, 2007 AT 04:00 AM EDT

On CBS’ new Mark Burnett reality show Pirate Master, aspiring buccaneers vie for $1 million in treasure, guided by host Cameron Daddo. Besides extensive experience working with wenches, what makes the former Models, Inc. and She Spies actor worthy of that post? A quick look.

+He actually is a pirate. Well, maybe. His grandfather once told him that their family is descended from Spanish pirates, and he’s been a committed swashbuckophile ever since. “We’d be put to bed with Long John Silver stories, which would keep me up scared as hell for three hours.”

+He played Black Bart in a 2001 episode of the Canadian TV show Mentors. His take on playing the infamously ruthless and bloodthirsty sea bandit? “Fun.”

+He’s a true menace in the water. A competitive swimmer, Daddo has been training for the U.S. Masters Nationals. While shooting Pirate Master in the Caribbean, “I got pulled out of the water by the police twice for swimming in the wrong places.”

+He’s never walked the plank, but this acrophobe did walk a tightrope on the 2005 Aussie reality hit Celebrity Circus. “I got up one morning after a particularly long night on the Australian Shiraz and just went for it. I needed to be numb.”

+He’s no stranger to mutiny. Country star Keith Urban dropped in to sing background vocals and play some guitar on Daddo’s early-’90s album A Long Goodbye: “We used to keep in touch,” Daddo says. “He got busy.”

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